The Belvedere Palace in Vienna and Prince Eugene of Savoy
One of the symbols of Vienna, as participants in the list of European cultural capitals, is the Belvedere palace complex. The palace was built in the beginning of the 18th century by the famous commander Eugene of Savoy. After his death he was bought by the emperors of the Habsburg dynasty, but here they did not live, believe me, they had plenty to choose from . At the end of the 18th century, the imperial collection of paintings was moved here, and in 1781 a public museum was opened.
Since then the Belvedere was rarely used as a residence, and most of the time it functioned as an art gallery. It was here in 1955 that the Declaration of Independence of Austria was signed.
For tourists it is interesting not only as an exhibition of art. It is interesting to see the palace itself as a very beautiful example of Baroque architecture. The huge garden is a good place for walking, especially it is beautiful in May and June, when flowers blossom, which form multicolored patterns.
Many consider the Belvedere one of the residences of the Austrian emperors, but this is not so. The builder and the first owner of the palace was the famous Austrian Eugene of Savoy, which we will discuss in detail in this article.
Eugene of Savoy it is called from us, the original name is the same as Yogen (or Yogen). In fact, it's the same name, it just sounds different in different languages. In Russian as Eugene, in German as Yogen, and in Spanish is pronounced as Eugenio. His full name in German sounds like Eugen von Savoyen. We write about this in order that you understand that if you call the name Eugene of Savoy in Austria, most likely, you just will not understand.
He was born in Paris, and spent his childhood and youth in France. Savoy was a weak child, and his parents wanted him to become a priest, but Eugene himself chose military service. He tried to imitate his father, who served in the French army and spent most of his life in campaigns.
He was not accepted into the French army, and Savoy began to look for another country for military exploits, she became Austria. The choice was not accidental, one of the brothers Eugene served in Austria and was killed in battle with the Turks. Austria was then the main obstacle on the way of the Ottoman Empire to Europe (read the article "History of Austria" ).
The Austrians by that time were already in a desperate situation, since the army of the Ottoman Empire was already near Vienna. Eugene of Savoy was accepted into the army of the Holy Roman Empire. Several of his relatives already served the Habsburgs, and problems with "employment" in Austria did not arise.
The first battle did not wait. The Austrian forces connected with the army of Poland and attacked the Turks, besieging Vienna. Savoy distinguished himself in the battle, was awarded and received the rank of colonel of one of the dragoon regiments. Thus began his brilliant military career.
Three years later he became a general. Savoy commanded the Austrian army in a huge number of soldiers with the Turks and French, showing his strategic talent, courage and determination.
We will not describe in detail the entire military career of Eugene of Savoy, nevertheless chinainfoguide.info is a tourist site, not a historical one. Let's just say that the fame and fame of this man in Austria is comparable to the glory of Kutuzov and Suvorov from Russians.
Eugene of Savoy was, moreover, a very rich man, constantly receiving land and bonuses from the emperors. He owned several palaces in different parts of the empire. In 1697, he bought a large plot of land on the outskirts of Vienna and in 1712 began the construction of a summer residence, which you can now visit during your trip to Austria, and which this review narrates.
The first thing you see at the entrance to the palace, there will be massive iron gates, adorned with beautiful ornaments. They are depicted on an Austrian coin of 50 euro cents . Going inside, you will see a large building of the palace, which is called the "upper Belvedere".
In front of the building is a large pond and many sculptures. This is one of the characteristic features of the Baroque style, in which the entire palace complex is built, this architectural style is characterized by a large scale.
The second feature of all baroque castles is the abundance of sculptures, both in the courtyard and on the facades of buildings. Style was born in many ways as a way to show rich and powerful people of their strength and ability to create something grandiose and beautiful.
Inspection of only the statues at the facade of the main building of the upper Belvedere can be called a separate entertainment. But, do not get carried away, in the buildings and in the garden you can find many more beautiful things.
Another characteristic feature of the Baroque style is the desire for curvilinear forms and a smooth transition between them. The domes of the palace (pictured right) are a typical example of this approach.
This style in architecture came to Austria from Italy, and Belvedere somewhat resembles the palaces of Italy. The architect Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt, who built all the buildings, was a German, but studied in Italy in Rome. If to be absolutely exact, the father of the architect was German, and the mother was Italian.
Inside the building there is a museum of modern painting. Not everyone likes the Art Nouveau style, so we will publish a photo of one of the paintings of the famous Austrian modernist Gustav Klimt, so that you have an idea of what pictures are inside.
Gustav Klimt is very famous for the desire for eroticism in his works, so we still had to look for his work, a photo of which could be published. This is his most famous painting, it is called "Kiss".
Is it worth paying 12.5 euros for visiting the art gallery in the upper Belvedere, or not, you decide. In any case, after passing through the building, you will find yourself in the garden. The garden divides the two parts of the palace. Lower Belvedere is behind the garden, you will see it in the distance, if you look closely.
The garden was created after the death of Eugene of Savoy, or rather, the garden acquired its present form only in 1803. In this garden, preference is given to alpine plants. More than four thousand species of different plants grow in the garden.
In the garden there are several fountains and many statues, one of which you see in the photo on the left. Statues in antique style depict goddesses, nymphs and other fairy-tale characters of antiquity.
This mythical being is called a sphinx. Of course, many will notice that this is little like the Great Sphinx standing next to the pyramids in Giza . In this there is nothing surprising, the very mythical being of the Sphinx comes from ancient Greece, and according to the Greeks, this is what the sphinxes looked like.
Walking through the garden, you will find yourself next to the second building of the palace, which is called the "lower Belvedere." It does not look as gorgeous as the "older brother", and this is not surprising.
The first part of the palace was used as a reception room, Eugene of Savoy hosted guests, held solemn events and held negotiations. In the lower Belvedere he lived, and visitors here were much rarer.
But inside, it looks no less elegant. The main room is called a "marble hall" and fully justifies its name. The whole room is decorated with marble and niches with statues depicting scenes from the life of the ancient Greek god Apollo, adorn the walls every few meters.
Also, inside there are "grotesque hall" and "golden cabinet". The decoration of this part of the palace is very rich, it is worth seeing, in addition, art exhibitions are organized in this building, perhaps, at the time of your visit, any of them will just pass. The entrance to the lower Belvedere costs 11 euro.
As you already understood, you will have to pay when visiting each part of the sights, and, like in many other tourist places in Austria, you can buy an all-inclusive ticket, the price of which is 30 euro. Children and teenagers under 18 years can see the palace complex for free.
Another interesting building in the garden is the greenhouse, which has a very interesting feature. Orange trees were inside during the winter, and in the summer they were not taken out to the street (as was done in other greenhouses), but simply removed the roof. Now this is an exhibition hall, there are also paintings.
Stables of Eugene of Savoy also became a museum, but there are already exhibited samples of medieval art.
This concludes our story, we hope that it was interesting for you. Read our other Austrian landmarks ( links below ).
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